SHEFFIELD had a disastrous weekend as they suffered two defeats and inexplicably threw away a 26-point lead to crash out of the Premier League Knockout Cup.
They looked nailed on to progress in the competition after amassing a huge 26 point lead in Thursday’s first leg, but the Tigers put in one of their worst performances of the season at exactly the wrong time to leave them devastated.
Co-team manager David Hoggart had warned his side against complacency and spoke of the potential in Newcastle’s side, but nobody expected them to come back and send the Tigers out of yet another competition in such emphatic fashion.
It was a horrific start for Sheffield and they just never recovered.
They fell 16 points behind after five heats, meaning they had just a 10 point cushion for the following 10 heats and that was soon cut even further.
By 10 heats, Newcastle were ahead and after pulling back such a huge deficit, they were never going to let the lead slip.
They pressed on further and a lacklustre Sheffield had no answer, eventually going down to an embarrassing 34 point defeat.
Only Ricky Wells emerged with any serious credit for the Tigers, winning a couple of heats on his way to paid nine.
On Saturday the Tigers travelled to Leicester looking for their first league away points of the year but they crashed to a 12-point defeat, despite making a strong start.
They lacked top end firepower and the home side capitalised, with their own top three contributing 32 points compared to 18 for Sheffield. It wasn’t a poor performance by any means, and going in to Heat 15 the city side still had the chance of a league point, but Richard Hall fell while he and Ricky Wells were on a 5-1 and was excluded, with the re-run resulting in a home heat advantage.
n SATURDAY: Leicester 51 - (Nieminen 13+2, Bjerre 13+1, Graversen 9, Karlsson 6+1, Makinen 5+1, Lambert 3+1, Blackbird 2.)
n SHEFFIELD: 39 - (Hall 8+1, Wells 7+1, Skidmore 7, Haines 6, Bunyan (G) 4+3, Schramm 4+1, Franc 3+1.)
n SUNDAY: Newcastle 62 - (Lindgren 14+3, Nedermark 12+2, Doolan 11+1, Worrall 10+2, Robson 8+2, King 7, Henry rider replacement.)
n SHEFFIELD: 28 - (Wells 9, Hall 6, Haines 5+1, Schramm 4, Sanchez 2+1, Franc 2, Skidmore 0.)